Walt Disney…

After well over a month of regular listening, I finally finished Neal Gabler’s mammoth-912 page biography titled Walt Disney:  The Triumph of the American Imagination.  I would highly recommend this book for a summer read.

I have been known, at times, to be a critic of both Disney and Pixar.  Believe it or not, this biography helped me to hold out hope.  More often than not, reading books about legendary figures tend to taint (even tarnish) our images and understanding of supposed icons.  However, in this case, this work reveals (or at least reiterates) that disappointments and droughts are nothing new to the business that Mickey built.  Disney has reinvented itself on more than one occasion and they will more than likely do it again.  The author humanizes Disney without demeaning him.

I should warn those who have bought into the Disney Magic – this book is not all pixie dust and princesses, but there is nothing in this book that will keep you from wishing upon a star….

Check it out and let me know what you think.

 

Walt Disney…

I’m Tired of Being a Pessimist…

Nothing better than Opening Day (even though it is just one of 162).  I haven’t made MLB predictions in quite some time.  So why not return to my former ways?  But this time I am going to try something new.  I am actually going to believe in my team.  Let’s see where that takes us.  A change of pace that is thirty years in the making (win the October Classic, already).  

 
So, without further ado, here are my 2016 Major League Baseball predictions…

AL East Champions:  Toronto Blue Jays
 
AL Central Champions:  Kansas City Royals
 
AL West Champions:  Texas Rangers 
 
NL East Champions:  Washington Nationals 
 
NL Central Champions:  Chicago Cubs 
NL West Champions:  Los Angeles Dodgers 
 
 
AL Wild Card Winners:  Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros 
 
NL Wild Card Winners:  New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals

WORLD SERIES 
Dodgers over Blue Jays.  Why not? 

Thoughts? What are your picks? 
I’m Tired of Being a Pessimist…

Batman v Superman…

 
Allow me to preface this review by disqualifying myself as being far to partial as it relates to Superman.  I grew up with the Man of Steel.  I love everything that is Kryptonian.  That being said, Batman v Superman was far better than projected.  Please don’t make the mistake of comparing Zack Snyder’s take on the Cape Crusader with the masterpiece produced by Christopher Nolan.  That being said, Ben Afleck redeems his Daredevil-self by bringing a whole new take on the Bat.  He is older.  He is wounded.  He is angry.  And as always with the Dark Knight, he is very much afraid.  
 
Here is what is most special about this prelude to The Justice League… the writers tackle an aspect of Kal-El that has rarely if ever explored.  How should the world respond a Savior?  Can someone so strong truly be trusted to be good?  Will he lay his life down no matter what?  Though I still wish DC would have taken it’s time introducing and expanding on these characters (like Marvel), I am very much looking forward to the direction of this franchise.  
 
My rankings of superhero movies thus far…
  1. The Dark Knight (2008).  Possibly the best villain in the history of cinema.
  2. Man of Steel (2013).  Finally, the origin story that does the myth “justice”.
  3. Batman Begins (2005).  The greatest story ever told about a superhero.
  4. Superman II (1980).  For the era, there was none better.
  5. The Avengers (2012).  I did not believe that it would be possible to juggle so many egos and actors.
  6. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).  Metropolis meets Gotham. Finally.
  7. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). The most underrated superhero of them all.
  8. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).  The most fun on the list.
  9. Spiderman 2 (2004).  Transformed special effects for superhero movies – but they should have stopped here.
  10. Batman (1989).  Burton revived the Caped Crusader and recaptured the darkness behind the mask.
What makes your list?
Batman v Superman…

Gaining By Losing…

I would highly recommend J.D. Greear’s Gaining By Losing:  Why the Future of the Church Belongs to Churches that Send.  

As part of his book, the author reminds us as readers that every Christ follower has at least two major callings…

  1. The call to use your vocation for the glory of God and the blessing of others.  What skill has God-given me by which I can bless the world?
  2. The call to make disciples.  Where and how can I do it most strategically to advance the mission of God?   

Pick up a copy and let me know what you think.

Gaining By Losing…

The Apostles’ Creed As Shared By Alister McGrath…

 
I would recommend Alister McGrath’s  Apostles’ Creed (Life Guide Bible Studies).  I was provided a copy through a special release (directly from the publisher for the purpose of an online review).
My favorite quote is captured in this particular picture.  What are your thoughts?  
Check it out the six-week study and let me know what your takeaway is.  For more information, check out the author’s biography.
The Apostles’ Creed As Shared By Alister McGrath…